CANADA STOCKS-TSX extends rally on data, earnings
* TSX ends up 40.10 pts, or 0.3 pct, at 12,332.79 * Highest level since Apr. 3 * Energy, materials lead gains * China, U.S. PMI data boost commodities * Suncor, Cameco post strong results By Jon Cook TORONTO, May 1 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose for the fifth straight session on Tuesday as resource shares were boosted by strong manufacturing data from the U.S. and China and solid earnings results from Canada's energy sector. Oil and gas firms led gains for the second day in a row, rising 1.2 percent as oil prices rose and strong earnings from industry heavyweight Suncor Energy pushed the sector higher. Suncor shares climbed 1 percent to C$32.94 a day after the country's top oil producer reported first-quarter operating profit that topped forecasts, driven largely by better-than-expected production results. It also hiked its quarterly dividend 18 percent. "The oil (stocks) are pretty much carrying the market," said David Cockfield, managing director and portfolio manager at Northland Wealth Management. "So far the earnings surprises are on the upside and that certainly helps." Suncor's results followed on the heels of last week's positive earnings by Cenovus Energy, which saw its shares rise 0.9 percent to C$36.17 on Tuesday. Other influential gainers included Canadian Oil Sands , which soared 5.6 percent to C$23.05 a day after it reported a quarterly loss, but still beat estimates. Canadian Natural Resources, which reports later in the week, climbed 1.1 percent to C$34.70 and Encana Corp jumped 2.9 percent to C$21.29. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index finished up 40.10 points, or 0.3 percent, at 12,332.79, its highest level since April 3. It was the first time since early January the TSX has risen for five consecutive sessions. Seven of 10 main sectors in the index were higher. Heavily-weighted materials rose 0.6 percent, led by Potash Corp , which gained 2.9 percent to C$43.23. Cameco Corp's shares spiked 2.8 percent to C$22.47 on Tuesday after the world's second-largest uranium producer reported a 45 percent increase in quarterly profit. Commodity stocks were buoyed after data showed manufacturing activity in China and the United States rose in April, easing concerns the world's largest economies had lost momentum. The pace of manufacturing growth in Canada also advanced at its strongest rate of the year in April as business conditions improved for a third straight month, data showed on Tuesday. The Chinese PMI, which rose to its highest level in 13 months, was seen having the largest impact on Canadian stocks. "This is the number that shows that the biggest consumer of our commodity goods is back to growth," said Barry Schwartz, portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services. "We could see the commodity stocks, which have let us down for the past 12 months, become the winners." Those sentiments were echoed by Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney on Tuesday. He told a business audience in Toronto that commodity prices are likely to remain high for longer than in previous booms. In other company news, Research In Motion shares sank nearly 6 percent to C$13.31 on Tuesday after research firm IDC said RIM's share of the global smartphone market had slipped to 6.7 percent in the first quarter, from 13.6 percent a year earlier. Shares of WestJet Airlines Ltd climbed 2 percent to C$14.52 after Canada's No. 2 airline, said on Tuesday it has selected Bombardier Inc to supply turboprop aircraft for the new regional carrier it is setting up to compete with Air Canada. TMX Group shares rose 2.5 percent to C$46.25 after the consortium of Canadian financial institutions bidding for the operator of the TSX extended its C$3.8 billion ($3.85 billion) takeover offer.
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